Monday, January 18, 2016


A bull got through the fence the other day from a neighboring field where the herd was grazing. Bulls can smell heifers that are in heat, apparently from a long distance. It was quite a shock that morning seeing him standing in among our heifers. He was not only a black Brangus (a cross between Brahman and Angus) but he was HUGE, towering over our heifers (ours are red Angus). Poor girls. He was obviously interested in at least one of them, possibly several. With him came a smaller black Angus cow, maybe a bull calf, but we weren't so worried about him.

We knew which of the neighbors had their cows next to us and contacted them quickly. Neighbor's cows across the county road are red Angus and never get out, by the way. We have known that the fencing on that side of our property is poor but so far had never been a problem with any of our cows getting out. It's only the neighbors cows that get in!

The bull was really a problem for us. We definitely had not wanted our heifers to be bred with a black Brangus. We were giving our older heifers a rest, and the younger heifers were, well, too young. And as long as he was in among ours, I couldn't easily get the feed to them. He was really huge and intimidating. The only good thing was that I finally conquered my fear of our cows when I saw him.

The owners came on several occasions. Their plan to get him out of our pasture kept changing. The first plan was to lure the heifers through one gate into another pasture using cattle cubes, and keep the bull back by closing the gate. The bull wasn't interested in cattle cubes but would follow the girls. A few attempts at this failed because the bull pushed past the gate along with the heifers. Several more attempts failed because as soon as the bull was separated, he would go down into the woods and find another gap in the fence and come back into the pasture with the heifers.

This was another problem for us because we didn't want the cows in this pasture, and especially not a bull. This pasture has the goats and dogs, along with the three bull calves. It also has three separate stashes of hay under cover but easily accessible to them.

Several plans and days later, the fence was patched in the weak places and the bull was successfully separated and moved back to his herd and to a further pasture away from our heifers.

It will be nine months before we will know how much damage he caused.

P.S. Don't worry. There's a fence between me and him in these photos. 

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